Don’t just let these homes sit abandoned

DKS Editors

Yesterday, the Daily Kent Stater ran an article about the abandoned houses owned by Kent State located a block from the university’s north campus that sit unoccupied or vacant, and even more across the city.

Some of the houses have been owned by Kent State University for more than two years, yet they still sit empty. Kent Police Lt. Jayme Cole told the Daily Kent Stater that these houses are “not a problem.” Well, two big issues important to Kent students and residents come to mind.

First, the university needs housing. The locations of these houses are prime real estate for students. As university officials continue to get rid of dorms and add more people per room in the Centennial dorms this fall, it is a wonder they don’t rent the houses to students now, especially considering after a year or more of ownership, they still don’t know what they will be doing with the houses.

Second, some houses have broken windows and unlocked doors that lead to trespassing. One neighbor said she has witnessed a car’s window being broken as it sat near a lot and unauthorized people entering and exiting the houses on several occasions. She doesn’t feel safe and wants to keep people who don’t live near her from entering these houses. Concerns raised by the community are always a problem and deserve to be addressed.

While Kent State spends enough money to keep the outside of the houses preserved, the insides are unaccounted for. While people are coming and going, no one really knows what kind of activity is going on inside of the houses or what kind of condition they will be in to use in the future (if that’s the plan).

Kent State should consider a few options. It could tear these houses down if it doesn’t have a use for them in the future or fix them up for students to rent in the meantime. The university might even consider selling these houses to other Kent residents who might help make these houses accessible to students to rent.

As the conditions deteriorate, neighbors worry and students look for housing options, the residences continue to sit abandoned. While the university and downtown areas are under a revitalization process, it certainly does not show with all of these empty lots. As of now, nothing positive comes from the university owning these houses.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.